As it turns out, I’ve been living most areas of my life as a “maximiser” according to the book ‘The Paradox of Choice’ by Barry Schwartz.
As a maximiser, I always look for perfection - to be the best, to do my best - when I could have just been “good enough.” You can be a maximiser in some areas of your life and not others. Maximisers want to do things like: find exactly the right movie to watch, the perfect wine to accompany their food, work on a project to a point far beyond what is necessary.
“Satisficers,” on the other hand, rather than “settling” (as perceived by maximisers), have exacting standards and are happy with what “good enough” to meet those standards.
Maximisers are prone to perfectionism and are probably more likely to suffer from crippling self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Even in writing this article, I wanted to make sure I had just the right words.
If you’re wondering how to become more of a satisficer and less of a maximiser, here are some tips:
1. Regret less. Once a decision is made, make it final. Don’t look back.
2. Novelty of new items usually wears thin, you need to anticipate this and prepare for it (maximisers are likely to look for something new!). Experiences change over time, learn to be satisfied when luxuries turn to comforts.
3. Gratitude helps with regret and also with lack of novelty! Appreciate what you have…
4. Manage expectations, especially those you have of yourself!
5. Know what makes YOU happy, and stop comparing yourself to others (especially in this age of social media!)
6. Set rules about when it’s ok to be “good enough” and follow them. View this as liberating!